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Posted by ahoodedfigure

Not Heroes, I mean the RPGs.  Not a sequel, I mean the original.  That game has come a long way since those beginnings, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how much stuff has STAYED IN all this time.  I'm not as familiar with VI onward, but I know that over the many years that that series was developed, it kept a lot of its baseline philosophies (gems as spell components, food when you need to sleep, violent little gnomes, hidden back story behind the world). 
 
One thing I miss, and am glad the second game onward had it: automap!!
 
Argh.  
 
The sequel is where things got more interesting. I'm wondering how much I want to play this game, since I feel a bit too punished at times.  I guess I'll see.
 
edit: Spoke too hastily in the comments. I guess you can sleep and still find the treasure chest.  Not sure why I thought otherwise.
 
Also, the lack of colors in this game is starting to affect my temperament. I think it's starting to make me a bit depressed, actually!  I'm temped to download the hintbook from GOG and just see if I can't get a map of the starting zone so I can orient myself better.  I get the feeling a big problem I have with this game is that the density of interesting ideas for the amount of time you have to invest in it is too low.  Maybe when this was one of the few games on the market of this complexity it was cool, but apart from nostalgia (which I have for the second one, not this one) I don't see too many people enjoying this game very much.   I did manage to use the Jump spell to get past some guards, though, which was nice.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Oh dear. You see, I have no interest in either the first or the second Might and Magic games. Maybe it's me being born several years after these games were released, but my experiences with both usually involve my party dying, me getting lost, or both. The fact that the first game has no automap is even more proof that I am simply incapable of playing any RPG developed prior to 1991.  For me, the series starts with Isles of Terra and ends with For Blood and Honor.  The last two are fairly bleh. VIII is both uncreative and stupifyingly easy (having Dragons in your party helps) while IX is just kind of dull and mediocre. I guess that's what happens when you ship a game in a pre-alpha state and have to rely on fan patches to become stable.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

It's been over a decade since I played any Might and Magic before the fifth game, but I ripped through them all as a kid and a teenager.  I kinda prefer the later games (up until the last atrocious entry in the main series).  The worlds became huge, the gameplay updates were smart without really changing the core fundamentals, and the stories became more complex and better written for the most part.  I'd love to see Might and Magic return to its roots somehow, some way.  I've got the same hopes for a Wizardry game.

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Posted by owl_of_minerva
@ahoodedfigure:  Yep, those were the days when games shipped with cloth maps and players mapped the game world on graph paper as they played. I remember very vaguely the unboxing of Might and Magic 2 (the first RPG I ever played) as the game made quite an impression on me. But goddamn, that colour palette really makes the eyes bleed.
How are you finding the game? Are the controls and world easy to get accustomed to, or is it a difficult grind? I've played Ultima I a bit and it seems relatively easy to learn with the aid of user-drawn maps and an explanation of the mechanics.
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater:  In a way, this game predates me, too.  Lemme explain: even though I was in the double digits by the time the first Might and Magic was released, I was still largely unaware of PC gaming at the time. I had an Atari 8-bit system, which had a keyboard and you could program on it and even save to magnetic tape (yup), but it wasn't until we got a 286 that we were even capable of playing complex games like this (relative to console games), and by the time we got THERE we were already trying out King's Quest V or something.  I sometimes wonder if I would have been a smarter kid just for the amount of mental gymnastics it would have taken me to survive these older computer games.  
 
@Sparky_Buzzsaw: Totally on board with that sentiment. There are good gameplay dynamics that, with some updates to make things less cumbersome, I could totally see being released in an off-market, old-school Might and Magic game and folks like us buying it up.  Might and Magic and games like them lived or died by their content generosity, and I think Might and Magic, while not the most story-driven or complex of any of the franchises, managed to make it all pretty fun, and what I especially like is that it rewards curiosity (as long as you're tenacious and willing to die a lot).   I'm not nearly as familiar with the Wizardry series, but I'd like to be.  This first installment feels a bit barren and hostile compared to Might and Magic II, which at least gave you a better opening story so you had a feeling for where you should go, and there were some areas in the starting town where you didn't have to worry about being stomped on by random critters (I even get attacked in the Inn in this first one).
 
@owl_of_minerva:  Might and Magic 2 was one of the first PC-style RPGs I played, so you and I are a bit synced up there I think, although mine was ported to the Genesis. Not as easy to control without a keyboard, but the graphics had a better range of colors and a higher resolution than what the PC version of MM2 looks like to me (I wonder if MM2 came out at around the same time as the original King's Bounty).
 
I've actually got the game running right now, with the DOSBox CPU cycles running at about 187 so I don't miss out on the text that flashes by way too quickly. I have a PDF of the cloth map up too, but it looks like an actual old map, so it doesn't help me navigate perfectly (I actually like that, but I don't feel like it's nearly as easy to travel in this game as it is in MM2 onwards). 
 
The keyboard controls are decent, although there would have been some pretty easy ways to streamline trading an item between party members. Right now it takes three keystrokes after hitting (T)rade: Who you want to trade with, what type of thing you want to trade, what item slot in the case of an item.  It could be who you want to trade with, followed by a key that either names an item slot or gems/gold/food.  Little things like that add up over time.  Makes me miss the interface from Xeen something fierce.  
 
The actual leveling process is a bit of a bear too, since in order to get a decent amount of gold you really have to risk the party's lives. When you don't get gold on a battle encounter because they're animals or whatever, you wind up having more experience than the gold you need to train with, on average.  Chests with decent rewards will often explode in your face, so you have to heal up before you open them to prevent an unconscious character dying from the blast, but you can't sleep to fully heal or the chest will disappear.

Also, the random attacks in towns are sort of depressing, forcing you to run for the Inn as soon as something interesting happenings, lest you get killed and lose your progress.  I actually don't mind Inns being the only save points, but I feel like there needs to be a general safe area so that you don't get hammered into the ground due to bad luck.

What's nice, though, is that because the game is gold poor, getting a reward, even a simple magical item (like my shiny new Halberd +2) is something to celebrate.  I'd rather be playing the second game with its automap, ultimately, so I guess I'll see how far I progress as to whether or not I want to expend the effort to graph everything out, or just consider it a learning exercise and move on to II.